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How to create an energy efficient infrastructure while managing increasing demands

As your business grows and ways of working evolve, demands on your energy usage will increase. Discover how you can create an energy efficient infrastructure to support these changes.

Attitudes towards energy are changing. Energy Managers are looking for solutions that give them better control of how they use and source energy while meeting increasing demands, improving efficiency and reducing carbon emissions. Many are shifting their focus from short-term concerns surrounding cost and are looking for ways to invest for greater energy efficiency in the future. 

Energy Managers are faced with the challenge of changing the way senior management views energy. Energy is often approached as a cost that needs to be managed and reduced. This is a short-term strategy that could lead to missed opportunities in improving energy efficiency, reducing carbon emissions and meeting the increasing demands on energy. 

How are demands on energy changing?

Businesses need to recognize that the way energy is being used within organizations is changing and that action is needed if they are to future-proof their business. Increased use of technology and the changing needs of employees are creating a much higher demand for energy. 

As organizations grow and technology develops, the demands for energy will continue to increase, leading to more energy being consumed, rising costs and increased emissions. Organizations need to be thinking about how they can future-proof their business against rising demands on energy and how they can create an energy efficient infrastructure, with energy managers leading the way. They are thinking about how their business uses energy and the factors that increase energy demands, including:

  • Electric vehicle charging: There has been a rise in the number of electric vehicles in recent years. This increase has put an increased pressure on organizations to provide electric vehicle charging stations for their employees, leading to an increased demand for energy. This demand is causing an increase in usage, which is costly and affects carbon emission targets.
  • Additional facilities due to expansion: As businesses expand, so do their demands on energy, from taking on more staff to providing additional facilities such as more production lines and workstations. The larger the organization, the larger the demands on energy will be. Businesses need to consider how they will manage these increasing demands and how costs and efficiency will be affected.
  • Increase in technology and smarter working: Today’s modern world is reliant upon technology and new technological developments will see a continuous increase in organizations’ demands on energy. Many employees are working smarter by using multiple devices or more than one computer screen which is leading to an increased demand on energy, increased energy costs and higher carbon emissions.
  • Growing number of employees: As organizations grow and expand, so do the number of employees. Each employee will increase the organization’s demand on energy, from new work premises or expansion of existing premises to increased usage of technology and facilities and increased lighting and heating.
  • Changes in shift patterns: While flexible working patterns may provide a better and more efficient way of working for the organization, it could be causing a drain on the energy infrastructure in place. Over time, this can impact on the energy efficiency of an organization.

Creating an energy efficient infrastructure

It is important to look at how you can create an energy efficient infrastructure that helps future-proof your organization against increasing energy demands, while improving energy efficiency and prioritizing emission reductions.

There are a number of ways to improve the energy infrastructure, from ensuring the right energy technology is in place to encouraging a change in mindset about energy across the organization.

It’s important to review the energy technology used throughout your organization’s operations and in the fabric of the buildings to identify areas of wastage or inefficiency. Areas to consider include:

  • Lighting (replacement, installation of controls, lighting plan redesign)
  • Building Management System (BMS) optimization (humidity controls, zoning, temperature and schedule adjustments) 
  • Building fabric (increased use of natural daylight, envelope insulation, window & door seals) 
  • Insulation (pipework, ductwork, hot water tanks, heat exchangers, valves) 
  • Heating system (boiler replacement, Variable speed drives (VSD) on pumps, demand driven controls, heat recovery)
  • Cooling system (chiller replacement, DX Systems, temperature adjustments)

Balancing energy sources

Considerations should be made to where the organization’s energy comes from and how improvements could be made to balance energy sources. Balancing energy sources so organizations aren’t limited to a single approach can help reduce the risk of energy failures, improve resilience and improve energy efficiency. 

Cogeneration is one of the most efficient sources of producing energy. It takes the heat produced in generating electricity and uses it to heat the building. Other areas to consider include renewable energy sources such as solar and battery storage.

Gain energy insight

Energy Managers should review and monitor energy consumption to gain valuable insights into how the organization uses energy to reduce waste, save costs and improve efficiency. An energy insight solution, such as Panoramic Power from Centrica Business Solutions, allows you to monitor energy use across all of your equipment and devices. 

The intelligence driven by this data helps you optimize performance, deal with potential equipment failures before they happen and reduce energy inefficiencies and waste.

Changing mindset about energy across the organization

It’s also important to consider the way the whole organization thinks about energy. This includes implementing behavioral change awareness campaigns to educate employees about energy consumption and the steps that can be taken to save energy and improve efficiency. 

Implementing energy champions could also be beneficial in promoting sustainability and energy efficiency. These champions can encourage employees to adopt ‘greener’ habits in the workplace.

Partner with an experienced energy provider

Working with an experienced energy provider, such as Centrica Business Solutions, will ensure you have the best energy solutions in place. They will be able to help your organization work towards creating an energy efficient infrastructure and reduce carbon emissions. 

Discover how Centrica Business Solutions can help you to create an energy efficient infrastructure while managing increasing demands.